Nobody panic. Antonio Brown caught seven passes to keep his reception streak record alive.
Under the Mike Tomlin regime, it’s only the truly important things that count!
In less important news, the Pittsburgh Steelers lost 31-10 to the Cleveland Browns. Actually, they didn’t so much “lose” as get their asses handed to them. After a sluggish first quarter where both teams seemed determined to out-suck each other, the Browns kicked it into gear and never looked back. It was by far the easiest win they’ve had this season and oh by the way it was their easiest win over the Steelers since a 49 point shellacking they gave us way back in 1989.
And you know what? Nothing that happened yesterday surprised me in the least.
The Steelers are a terrible team. Awful. Horrible. Pathetic. Insert whatever adjective you’d like.
Let me spell some things out for Steeler Nation. That run they went on toward the end of last year was a mirage. The AFC was the land of mediocrity and the Steelers simply took advantage of that fact. It didn’t mean they were “close” to being Super Bowl contenders. All that little run did was camouflage the fact this franchise is in a lot of trouble.
Mike Tomlin is a terrible head coach. He has absolutely no clue what he’s doing now that he doesn’t have Bill Cowher’s players here to win for him. Kevin Colbert deserves equal blame for assembling a roster that is overpaid and under-talented. It’s also starting to look like he completely botched the 2014 Draft which wouldn’t be that surprising considering he’s botched nearly every draft for the past five years. The level of decay extends so far down that even the coordinators shouldn’t escape criticism. I love Dick LeBeau but he’s still trying to run the same system he ran in 2008 but with players who either can’t play it or are too old to play it the same way they did back then.
Then we have Todd Haley. The Steelers scored one touchdown yesterday, a garbage time deal that came with Cleveland basically playing a prevent so loose that Landry Jones could’ve led them down the field. Okay, let’s not get crazy. Landry Jones would’ve went three and out but any halfway competent QB would’ve led them down the field. How can a team with a Pro Bowl caliber starter at each of the three key skill positions (QB, RB, WR) play this bad on offense?
The Steelers had a chance to get off to a good start when they drove down to the Cleveland 7 on their second possession. Once in the red zone, however, it was three straight hand-offs up the middle that netted nothing. Last week, Haley tried to show everybody how smart he is by calling goofy screens and run/pass options in the red zone. This week, it was almost like a big “FU guys, criticize me and I’ll just run it straight ahead over and over and over.” I’ve been a Haley supporter but it’s clearly not working. He gotta go.
Not that I can totally blame him when he’s been handed a crap sandwich and asked to take a big bite. While Emmanuel Sanders is over in Denver catching a billion passes – amazing what having a real head coach and a decent coordinator can do – while poor Ben Roethlisberger is given a gang of cast-offs and rejects to throw at. Markus Wheaton had the game from hell, catching only 4 of the 11 balls thrown his way. Lance Moore only managed to snag 1 of the 6 thrown his way – but, hey, it was for a touchdown! Wheaton shouldn’t be a starter. Moore is a washed up headcase. And the sad part is they’re both way better options than useless practice squad rejects like Justin Brown or Derek Moye.
As bad as the offense looks, it still manages to look a damn sight better than the defense. Browns QB Brian Hoyer completed eight passes yesterday, EIGHT PASSES ALL GAME, yet still threw for over 200 yards while putting up 31 points. Cleveland’s second quarter onslaught began when he rolled out then threw back across the field to a wide open Jordan Cameron for 42 yards. Troy let Cameron go and went after Hoyer to blow the coverage. Believe me it pains me to say this but in year’s past, Ryan Clark would recognize when Troy was freelancing and would cover for him. Mike Mitchell doesn’t seem to have any such sense. In fact, it’s a miracle he knows which side of the field to line up.
The next drive, Hoyer hit Cameron again, this time for 51 yards. Cameron split the defense and ran right by Cortez Allen. The contract extension given to Allen is shaping up to be the worst extension in Steelers history. To call him mediocre would be giving him more credit than he deserves. There are literally thirty nickelbacks out there who could do the job Allen does for a fraction of the price. And that includes Chad Kroeger, who isn’t so much a nickelback as a member of Nickelback.
But never fear everybody, Dri Archer carried the ball three times for 24 yards! Who needs fresh young corners when we can draft linebackers who can run really fast and a weenie little scatback who barely gets on the field!
If you want the perfect example of how clueless this franchise is right now, look no rather than punter Brad Wing. How Wing is still on this team is a mystery right up there with the meaning of life and what hot dogs are made of. Wing already helped to cost them a game against Tampa with a shanked punt. Yesterday, he cost them a field goal when he mishandled the snap. Detroit has already gone through three kickers because they keep screwing up yet the Steelers continue to trot this guy out there week after week.
Although this standard seems to be the standard under the inept Tomlin regime. No answers, no adjustments, no addressing of glaring problems, and for damn sure no changes. I expect the Steelers won’t truly hit rock bottom this season because they have one of the most ridiculously easy schedules in NFL history. Any team with a halfway decent quarterback is gonna light them up although fortunately they still play a handful of teams desperately in need of one. So I expect we’ll pick up some wins between now and the end of the season. But whatever record the Steelers ultimately end up with, don’t be fooled. This is a bad bad team.
And I’m afraid things are gonna get a whole lot worse before they get better.